In any case, at these points I want to feed my story to a fire. I want to dance around the bonfire while making war cries and watch the smoke rise in the black night and carry my story far far away.
But sometimes that's not enough. Especially a couple weeks ago when I felt like I'd read and reread and rewritten my first chapter so much that I could feel my mind going numb every time I tried to fix it.
I put my story away for a week. I wasn't allowed to read it, look at it, and I stopped if I caught myself thinking about how to restructure a certain chapter or "oh hey, is that line of dialogue really necessary or is it just something that I think shows characterization??"
I went walking, went to a park, bought a cupcake. Then I baked my own cupcakes and gave them away. I beatboxed on flute. I did some business taxes (because yes, I do have a job). I went out to a dinner with a friend at a place far too popular with the birthday crowd (small restaurant cafe, seven birthday people in one night...what are the odds?)...and didn't talk about writing with her. I hashed out frustrations with some other friends and did talk about writing with them.
During these times, sometimes I have the urge to stay away from books. I fear I'll be either too cynical about them or that I'll start overanalyzing the minute details of the editing...Kind of how you sometimes delve into the land of chord progressions while listening to the radio after going to a music theory class.
But a good book can also remind you why you do what you do. And sometimes we need to take a breather from what we're doing and do exactly that...remind ourselves why we do what we do. When I read something good, I want to write. When I read something bad, that motivates me to write as well. When I hear, think, see, feel something beautiful or disastrous, I want to write about it.
Anyway, I've since come back to finish editing my book, write/edit a first chapter I like, and I started the querying process yesterday (eep!). We shall see how it goes.
Speaking of beautiful though, I went to see the Emerson Quartet yesterday and they were divine. They make it look like butter...almost so easy that it looks dubbed. I was fortunate enough to get a seat in the front row, so I got an amazing view of it all...except that the cellist was blocked by the viola player for most of the time. The girl next to me asked me at intermission if I was a cello player. I think it was because I would lean over her way whenever David Finckel played so I could get a better look at him. He's wonderful. I'm not a cello player, but oftentimes I wish I was. The flute is great because it's so travel-size convenient...but you can't eat while you play the flute. Of course, that's not the sole reason why I prefer cello to flute, but it is something to consider...